Jason Bourne vs. James Bond

If you’re a Jason Bourne movie fan, please let me know here. Do you prefer Bourne over Bond? If so, why? If not, why not? How many of the films have you seen in each series (estimate, at least)? Which would you rather see, another James Bond movie, or another Jason Bourne movie?

I’m just doing an informal poll here.

* * *

Update for 16 November 2008: James Bond has multiple problems. As a film icon, his biggest problem is a dilemma: “Do I play Bond with the key historic links that make this a Bond movie, or do I shake off the clichéd persona of a day gone by?”

Bond is an anachronism. He can’t exist in today’s world. Adapt the storyline to match current events all you like; if Bond is going to be “Bond, James Bond,” he’s going to look like a dinosaur in bow tie and cufflinks. But if he calls himself James Bond without really being James Bond, then he looks like a caricature, like someone who began admiring the real James Bond when he was twelve years old and always wanted to be him.

I think this answers Joel Ryan’s question, over at E!Online: “Why Can’t James Bond Catch Jason Bourne?”

Personal note to Daniel Craig: Please don’t take this personally. But a quantum of solace is about all you have in the day of Jason Bourne. I’m sure you’ll find someone to enjoy the moment with you.

Update for 11 August 2010:

In a 2007 post called “The Best and Worst of James Bond Films,” Webomatica ranks the Bond movies and the Bond actors. Daniel Craig is omitted. Here’s my ranking:

  1. Sean Connery
  2. Roger Moore
  3. Daniel Craig
  4. Pierce Brosnan
  5. Timothy Dalton

What about you?

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About Doug Geivett
University Professor; PhD in philosophy; author; conference speaker. Hobbies include motorcycling, travel, kayaking, sailing.

51 Responses to Jason Bourne vs. James Bond

  1. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi Charity,

    I’m not sure I replied to your question earlier. Can you be more specific about the techniques you’re referring to?

    -Doug

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  2. Doug Geivett says:

    Thanks! I hope you will bookmark here and chime in when you can.

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  3. Doug Geivett says:

    THANKS!

    Like

  4. Doug Geivett says:

    Thanks. I plan to continue posting.

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  5. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you’re a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and definitely will come back at some point. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great writing, have a nice holiday weekend!

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  6. Everyone loves it when individuals come together and share thoughts.
    Great site, keep it up!

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  7. Where exactly did u actually pick up the techniques
    to publish ““Jason Bourne vs. James Bond Doug Geivett’s Blog”? Thank you ,Charity

    Like

  8. Doug Geivett says:

    Shrugs his nose?

    Like

  9. josh says:

    i always thought James Bond movies were kind of corny and just too predictable. James Bond is a pretty boy. Ever since Jason Bourne movies came out, they’ve made James Bond tougher, with more of an edge. The recent James Bond movies were good (Daniel Craig’s versions). He’s actually at the same pace [?], now, as Bourne. Bourne makes all the other James Bonds look like [censored]. Seriously, I told my cousin’s dad this and he’s been a fan since Sean Connery days. Like I said, you compare the whole James Bond time-line to Bourne and it doesn’t add up. James Bond shrugs his nose at authority, with a [censored] to match.

    Like

  10. Bourne kicks ass says:

    I have respect for Bond but lets be honest people in a fight Bourne would rip off his head and

    Like

  11. Nolan says:

    Bond is easily better. his movies may be a little unrealistic but what the hell, he kicks ass. If Bond and Bourne got into a fight lets face it, bourne would probaly lose.

    Like

  12. TimmyH says:

    The Bourne films are far better than nowadays’ Bond ones imo, cuz Bourne films are rare ones which put the ultimate realities into spy genre, while most of the rest today are heavily based on hi-tech. Eg. look what Mission Impossible has done to the audience? Those hi-techs don’t even have anything to do with stunts or VFX, thus not to mention they’re entertaining, even a bit. If they went for a Matrix type, that would’ve been better.

    Matt Damon potrayed the charater extremely well. He’s not like James Bond; he doesn’t have so many girls and he doesn’t do playboy things like Bond (and these intimate scenes are dull to watch, same for spies as well). What we see from inside Jason Bourne is a wicked intelligent man with tons of wisdom and courage. He’s a hero of whom all the corrupt gov’ners are scared. What he uses to fight against them are all real stuff that we, ordinary ppl can buy, and his wisdom, his martial arts. But Bond relies way too much on those unrealistic stuff.

    Like

  13. Doug Geivett says:

    Hello, Mongoose. Agreed—you have to read the Ludlum books. I read The Bourne Identity years ago, before there were Bourne films. I like your statement, “Jason Bourne was what I thought James Bond should have been.” I believe the Bond novels are less engaging than the Bourne novels, but I haven’t read Bond.

    For other readers of the Mongoose comment, IMHO = “in my humble opinion.” I’m glad to welcome Mongoose to this blog.

    Like

  14. Mongoose Delta says:

    I doubt anything I say here will be original after so many responses, but here goes.

    Back in the day, Jason Bourne trumped James Bond, hands down. James Bond was this crazy British Secret Service guy who would advertise his presence and nature everywhere he went, attract the attention of the bad guys, sleep with their women, and somehow end up unveiling their evil plots, beating them up, and saving the world. I couldn’t give him any credibility. What agent of an intelligence agency would operate like that?

    Take, on the other hand, the Jason Bourne of the original Robert Ludlum novels (not the new movies). Memory loss aside, this guy was a chameleon. He could take on any roll, blend into any crowd, and adapt to any situation as needed to survive or to achieve his objectives. He could fight like no one else, and knew tactical operations and espionage trade craft like he knew how to breath. Jason Bourne was what I thought James Bond should have been.

    Then they made the newer movies (I’m talking produced in the last 10 years or so). The Jason Bourne movies butchered the character, plot and scenario presented by Ludlum in the novels. Good action movies, good fight scenes, but not the character, plot or scenario that attracted me to the novels.

    The two new James Bond movies, on the other hand, rawked! Watching the first half or whatever of Casino Royal I was thinking, “This is a better Jason Bourne I’m watching than the new Jason Bourne movies!” Of course, then he actually went to the casino and did the typical, stupid James Bond things and it went downhill from there IMHO.

    So, looking at the whole, the character of Jason Bourne still trumps that of James Bond. But looking at the movies, the last two Bond movies do a better job of presenting the character, either character, than do the previous movies.

    Like

  15. matt eshnaur says:

    bourne owns bond. handsdown. bond has to always rely on mi6 or whoever, whereas bourne does what he needs to do, around the world in crappy hotels while bond is living it up in five star hotels, drinking martinis. bond drives an ashton martin, bourne drives a beat up coupe and does 15x better action scenes.

    and the winneris……………………………..BOURNE!

    Like

  16. Adan Lerma says:

    i vote they do a re-make of “the blues brothers” together –

    Like

  17. Evolved says:

    Speaking of the 2 most recent Bourne movies vs. the 2 most recent Bond movies, they both contain quite a bit of action but differ in only 1 real aspect. Bond actually has a reason to be doing what he is doing. Bourne is lost. Give us a good backstory on Bourne and give us a reason to care why he is where he is, why these guys are after him, etc. and it will make for a much better story. Bond gets touted as being weaker due to his support from MI6 whereas Bourne is by himself with nobody to help him.

    Here is the question: who cares why Bourne is by himself if we don’t know what he is running from or doing there? Yes his CIA handlers are trying to find him and some guys are shooting at him, etc. etc. etc. All that aside, what has he really ACCOMPLISHED in the last 2 films? Has he thwarted any attempts on human lives like Bond has?

    Has he been in action scenes that are not only exiciting but also have just enough comedy thrown in to make us look at him as a hero and not just a highly-specialized soldier? I speak to the scene in Casino Royale where Bond doesn’t need to sneak in and choke out a guard or two to get into the hotel. Instead, he backs some snobbish guy’s Range Rover into another car to create a chaos that allows him to slip in nearly undetected. That’s classic Bond being smart yet being kind of an a-hole in a way that makes it more like a very small victory over a very small villain(the snob).

    Like

  18. trekman says:

    Ya know, I was thinking about this subject the other day. And was surprised there were so many sites talking about it.

    I think the *New* Bond (Daniel Craig) would give Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) a run for his money. I really enjoy both of them, and their methods. Craig, is a no nonsense no bullshit Bond. The old ones were a different breed, and Bourne would kick their ass’s!! But with the new Bond its hard to choose. Id like to see that fight. One would probably end up dying!

    Like

  19. Bond fan says:

    Bond for sure.

    I’m young and the bond movies are certainly the best. Plenty of action, just like bourne, but more intelligence and sophistication, unlike bourne. Bond has done it all, while bourne doesn’t even know what he’s doing. In a fight between bond and bourne, bond would win. The two best bond movies, however, were quantum of solace and casino royale. They had plots that were just as realistic, and told a better story with more action. Bourne tends to move pretty slowly, and is usually filmed in bad lighting and is confined to one general area of the world. Bond is filmed all over the world, making it much more exciting because the scenery is constantly changing. I read the first bourne book in the series, the one that hasn’t been made into a movie yet, and it ties the movie together and is one of the best books i have read. People will argue that bond relies on his country, but he doesn’t use the queen to win his battles. Sure gadgets are a little tacky, but they no longer use gadgets, or haven’t been since the release of casino royale. I have always been a huge bond fan, but bourne is very good too.

    Bond has class, but bourne has mystery. Bond is a timeless classic. Bourne is new, thats for sure, but the new bond is just as new. The new bond tells a story. It’s also a complicated story, which are my favorite kind of stories. Bourne may be mysterious, but at the same time, predictable, and I ask myself, “Do i really care if he doesn’t know his stupid identidy?”, but it is indeed cool that he beats people up along the way to finding out. Bond beats people up for a reason too, but most of the time people are just too stupid to see it so they declare it unreasonable. James Bond is a professional, but he also likes to have a little fun, often involving women, which also spices things up a little bit. James bond also makes mistakes, but bourne almost seems too perfect and untouched.

    Bond is the winner hands down.

    -Tim

    Like

  20. Doug Geivett says:

    This raises an interesting question: if bond and bourne somehow ended up on opposite sides in an incident of international intrigue, who would outsmart the other?

    Like

  21. bourne4life says:

    Bourne majorly!!!

    I mean, bond has the whole secret service backing him, plus gadgets, girls, etc…

    Bourne thinks on his feet, he must have an IQ of like 200…
    Bond is so unobservant that if he didn’t have a girl leading him the whole way, he would just walk into a pole.

    Plus, Matt Damon is real hot…
    Yeah, the only bad part is that the cam work gave me a headache.

    Keep up da movies!!!

    But seriously, peoples, if it was Bourne vs Bond, Bond would go dooooown…

    Like

  22. Doug Geivett says:

    Hello Gabriel,

    How could I possibly disagree?

    Like

  23. gabriel abner swagger says:

    ele é bom ,mas acho o joson bourne melhor
    aliás oas dois são bons né mas o matt damon bate muito ,bate mais

    Like

  24. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi Kevin,

    London vs. Missouri. I hadn’t thought of the comparison that way. I see your point. Question: Is there a difference between a thug and a killer?

    Like

  25. Kevin says:

    Bond of course. He’ll always have the British style, which Bourne will never have. It’s London vs Missouri, and I’ll take London.

    Someone else characterized Bourne as a thug. Bond may be a killer, but he still has class. He can kill someone and then deliver a respectable line. Bond wins.

    Like

  26. Allie Vorsteg says:

    Bourne. Definately. He reacted on what was ahead of him before he even knew.. Bond.,,, (Craig) almost. Im a fanatic.

    He’s a “lady killer” but the Bourne series are intense & I love them all!!

    Not all movies are for men, come on, J. Bourne is a looker, not much of one but: a protector, perceptor, initiater, submissive & empathetic. What a man. BTW- he can drive a mini down steps! W/out getting caught.

    Allie Vorsteg

    Like

  27. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi Crimson,

    My favorite line in your comment: “there is a difference between a loose adaptation and a total decapitation.” How true.

    By the way, last night I watched the complete mini-series based on Robert Ludlum’s book The Rhinemann Exhange, released in 1977. It’s a different kind of counterespionage thriller than either the Bond or the Bourne action films. The Rhinemann Exhange was made for TV, and it’s pretty good 1970s spy stuff. From the same era is Three Days of the Condor (1975), based on the novel Six Days of the Condor, by James Grady. The Rhinemann Exchange pairs Stephen Collins and Lauren Hutton; Three Days of the Condor stars Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway. Both are good stories and good shows. Both would be better, in my humble opinion, if Robert Redford and Lauren Hutton had co-starred.

    Like

  28. CrimsonTideinATL says:

    Hands down: James Bond.

    First and foremost, these are two different types of films…

    Comparing a Jason Bourne film to a James Bond film is like comparing the new Prom Night to Seven or Silence of the Lambs, and is also like comparing Batman Forever/Batman and Robin to The Dark Knight.

    Bourne films lacks everything but minor excitement. What’s the point? He’s no one special, just some random Joe trying to figure out his identity. Why should I care—especially considering as soon as he found out who he was, I felt cheated and felt no sympathy toward the guy whatsoever.

    The action sequences [in Bourne] are mediocre and they lack creativity and originality… a car chase scene in the middle of the streets? Compare that to fighting atop a crane/chasing a free-runner on foot. Some may say that’s unrealistic, but please tell me how it’s any more unrealistic than some ridiculous… CAR CHASE SEQUENCE! You watch any surveillance videos containing car chase sequences and compare that to the “realism” of the Bourne car chase sequences. In terms of realism, you find me one guy that can rely on his “fists” to overcome a myriad of other men. Or a guy who has to use a gadget to get out of those sorts of situations. Which is more realistic? Not even the champion UFC fighter could take on five other UFC fighters, all at once, only having his fists to use alone. Now, which is more realistic? By the way, when is the last time Bond has fallen 5 stories down a flight of stares, LANDING FACE DOWN, using ANOTHER BODY as a landing pad, and getting up and walking away (and, oh God, did that entire scene look so cheap and cheesy, it reminded you of something out of an Austin Powers movie)? You might bring up the crane sequence in CR; however, falling in a pit full of sand, and following that up by landing in a dumpster seems a little easier to believe.

    Bond films are epic; Bourne films are mediocre popcorn flicks that you forget about two days after watching them. Bond films are very complex (meaning there is a lot of thought put into them) and overly creative plot (i.e. a private banker for the world’s terrorist organizations who uses their funds to bet against the stock market). After hiring a guy to blow up the newly unveiled “largest airplane in the world,” yet fails and is forced to join a poker tournament to repay his clients, ultimately realizing he was set up all along, by another secret organization, who was also behind the betrayal of Bond’s lover COMPARED TO a guy running wild trying to figure out who he is… Now, tell me where the wow factor in that is?

    Not to mention the Bond action sequences are far better; they are more creative, original, and entertaining, than the mediocre Bourne action sequences.

    In addition, as aforementioned, there is more thought behind Bond movies, and far more work put into them. Bourne films are cheap, boring, mediocre, bland, and unforgettably horrible. The directing sucks. The editing sucks. The acting sucks. The cinematography sucks. And yadda yadda yadda.

    All in all, Bourne films are craptacular. The plots stink, the character is bland boring. The thrill-a-minute, unoriginal, and cheaply put together played out action, I personally think, is the only redeeming quality for the fans who enjoy action-action-action over anything else. Book wise, there is a difference between a loose adaptation and a total decapitation. This is definitely the latter [with the film adaptations of Robert Ludlum’s Bourne books], even though the books weren’t that great either.

    Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying ALL of the Bond films are better than the three Bourne films, because until Casino Royale came along, it had been nearly three decades since a great Bond film was released; however, overall Bond is the better spy and film.

    It’s all about opinion though. Most moviegoers (especially the uneducated Americans) would say they enjoy Prom Night. Why? Simply because there’s more thought put into the thrills (which were cheap) rather than the plot and story. Those same moviegoers are the type who would prefer that over Silence of the Lambs and Seven.

    You can blast Bond for using women, [relying on] gadgets to get out of tight situations [and] accomplishing missions, etc., but I find that much more enjoyable and relatable than some nobody running around, trying to find his identity by accomplishing almost nothing relevant along the way.

    Like

  29. Shad says:

    Jason Bourne definitely. He’s mature. Knows what he’s doing. Definitely ain’t a ladies man, unlike Bond. He still remembers his dead wife, whilst having a ripe one to take on, but doesn’t. That shows he’s mature. He ain’t a gadget freak, can drive a beat up car to fool the cops, and all else. Survive any situation sans the the help of childish gadgets. He thinks. Not mindless, like Bond. Bond sleeps with someone at night and finds out she had emptied his gun, AFTER he is told. What he can’t feel the weight ? Dumb-ass, definitely. He’s just a ladies’ man who just forgot where he put his gray matter. He’s not at all realistic. He’d just get his ass shot up in this dirty world the very first day.

    Like

  30. John says:

    Wow… I must be older than I imagine (37) but I will always be a Bond fan. I am hoping there aren’t any more Bourne movies. Bourne is a classless thug who forgets everything but how to put a gun together in the dark or rewire a cellphone he’s never seen. Bond is much more plausible with many many more character dynamics and development possiblities. They are endless – which is why 007 will adapt and continue for generations… Bourne is done. Transporter is done. Bond has it all – cars, action, women – everything I pay to go see!

    Like

  31. JP Moreland says:

    I prefer my Bourne shaken not stirred.

    Like

  32. Doug Geivett says:

    So Alex,

    I gather that you prefer Bourne over Bond . . . .

    Like

  33. Pingback: Linkapalooza Part II: My Favorite Blogs « The Pugnacious Irishman

  34. Alex says:

    Hey Doug,

    I really like this comparison; it prompts multiple domains of contrast that compete to make overall comparison tricky. “Is X better than Y” begs us to add: “in what respect?”.

    My gut tells me Bourne. But then my reflection is Bourne. I guess Bourne wins.

    Bourne is morally interesting, Bond, less so. Until Casino it was no competition for Bourne. I think the addition of Craig’s Bond in Casino (I’ve not seen Solace), while changing Bond in the ways you flag, adds a moral interest to Bond. You asked one respondant above if Bond, unlike Bourne, was somehow emotionally invulnerable. Before Casino, it seemed like it; hence, until Casino, Bond was not morally interesting, just witty.

    Bourne, not so witty, is complex and draws us into his mind such that we are sympathetic not only with his ‘mission’ but his life; we care about Bourne, while Bond elicits amusement, we respect Bourne as a person, unlike Bond.

    The survival skill, ingenuity, prowess, and spontaneity of Bourne as well as Bond are difficult to compare. More recent Bond movies seem to suffer from the unbelievable factor and that again goes in Bourne’s favor.

    As far as who is more entertaining of a character … for me entertainment often denotes surfacee pleasure and delight. Who is more interesting to study and try to ‘figure out’? Bourne, again.

    Like

  35. Fernando Velaquez says:

    generally BOND BEATS BOURNE w/ Craig, exotic travel scenery, supermodels, and music (generally speaking), general sex appeal, film-making budget $$

    generally BOURNE BEATS BOND w/ fight scenes, plot, appeals to a younger generation

    Footnotes:
    1) Quantum Solace – thumbs down
    2) Matt Damon is gay compared w/ Daniel Craig
    3) There is real competition between these films relating to the creative opening credits, and opening music, movie title display (what is the official Hollywood terminology for this part of the movie?)

    Like

  36. Doug Geivett says:

    Good point, Leon. Where would Bond be without the women? I don’t think he’d want to be an agent if he couldn’t count on there being beautiful women, and on their resourcefulness.

    Like

  37. LEON Karzad says:

    Quantum of Solace sucked. Poor caricature of the Bourne movies.

    Bourne for me. Without Bourne there is no Casino Royale. Bourne is smarter, deadlier and much more effective than Bond.

    Bond relies on Lucky, gadgets and Women

    Bourne >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>BOND

    Like

  38. Doug Geivett says:

    So Stephanie, this discussion prompted you to view a Bond movie tonight?

    Like

  39. Stephanie says:

    I have never even thought to compair them. James Bond is an iconic character. Jason Bourne is an equally interesting character. I think both movie franchises have merrit. But I don’t think that because they both feature action and spys that they should debated against each other. It’s like putting fruit loops up againt corn pops. They’re different, but I like them both…don’t make me choose!
    FYI I have seen all 3 bourne movies and and unknown amount of James Bond movies…whatever it is, it will be +1 after this evening.

    Like

  40. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi Vicky,

    I get what you mean about Bourne’s independence. Bond acts independent, but within the framework of his responsibilities to the agency. There’s no agency supporting Bourne.

    -Doug

    Like

  41. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi Estie,

    How many more Bourne movies do you think we’ll see?

    -Doug

    Like

  42. Doug Geivett says:

    Thanks, Ghost, for these observations. Do you think a lot of kids who were young enough to play in the sandbox (and enjoy it) also saw James Bond flicks?

    -Doug

    Like

  43. vicky muddappa says:

    I prefer bourne cuz bourne has no one’s support, and yet he manages things so nicely. bond has every kinda weapon, technology, etc., but he still fails to use his brain; bond works for the mi6, whereas bourne works for no one. i’ve seen all the bourne movies but only 4 bond films. i personally believe that bourne is a lot more better than bond.

    Like

  44. estie says:

    BOURNE, of course.. seeing stories that you can feel deep inside your heart until the next month, and waiting for the next in the series.. can wait for that.

    Like

  45. Ghost says:

    Bond or Bourne?

    Bond.

    I love the Bourne movies. I own all three and even struggled through reading Ludlum’s book trilogy, struggled because the titles of the books are practically all they have in common with the movies. (Yes boat, lost memory, assassin, Treadstone, Kane, but not much else.)

    Once again, loved the Movies.
    Loved the poster tag line “A new action hero is Bourne”—excellent.
    Damion’s Bourne was a breath of fresh air compared with the over-the-top Bond movies of the last couple of decades.

    That said, it will always be 007.
    Bond.
    James Bond.

    Why is Bond the Best?

    He is a childhood hero, as much a a movie character can be. I’m guessing most of us are old enough to have watched these movies as kids and played at being 007 on the playground the next day.

    The only thing cooler that being Bond is being a Jedi.

    Who do I want to see again most? Bond.
    I love the new incarnation of Bond. And it owes every thing to Bourne!

    It’s obvious that the writers had been watching Bourne and 24 when they sat down to pen the new movies; and thank God they did.
    I love the new Bond, the never-stop never-give-up persona they have stolen from Bourne makes Bond so much more entertaining to watch.

    Gone is the old cheese Bond, for good I hope.
    Now I loved those movies when I watched them, but Roger Moore’s final outings, where Bond had become a caricature of himself are cringe-worthy. Dalton was dull. Peirce Brosnan was a cool Bond, but the stories and villains were behind the times.

    So thank God for Bourne. He made Bond so much better.

    (whistles Bond theme tune)

    Like

  46. Ben says:

    Both of these guys are spies, sure, but I still think the comparison isn’t quite apples to apples. It’s true that until recently, Bond’s villains were the sorts of charicatures that belong to comic books, but it’s telling that the central conflict of the most recent Bond movie was a poker game. By contrast, Bourne’s world is filled with familiar threats, and he spends most of his time evading capture, improvising methods, and gaining information.

    In short, Bond reminds me more of a “Batman Begins”-style realistic comic book than an actual working intelligence officer. But as gritty as the Bourne movies are, they’re also (especially the last) rather dark and cynical, and they remain focused on the conflict between Bourne and his former handlers at the CIA. Bond movies are therefore more heroic in a certain sense because the protagonist is ultimately protecting people from clearly bad individuals. Bond’s world admits shades of gray in the middle, but Bourne’s just seems gray through and through.

    Also, in response to Kelly’s point that Bond doesn’t care about women, I submit the shower scene following the stairwell fight in Casino Royale where Bond comforts a shaken Vesper Lynd. Ian Fleming’s misogynist gentleman spy wouldn’t have resigned for a woman’s love, but we began to see the character transformed by events at the end of Royale. The new movie will bring that development forward I believe, and will (I expect) attempt to generate some sympathy for Bond’s attitudes as a kind of defense mechanism.

    Like

  47. Mike Austin says:

    I’m a Bourne fan, much more so than Bond. For reasons I’m not sure I can articulate, I just never got into a Bond film. By contrast, the Bourne films drew me in immediately, and I hope they do make more in the future. For a while it looked like they wouldn’t, but now both Matt Damon and the higher ups have opened the door again to the possibility of doing so.

    Like

  48. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi Kelly! So you’re more of a Bourne fan. I see your point about his greater respect for women. Bourne has a kind of undisguised vulnerability that you aren’t allowed to see in Bond. (Is that because Bond isn’t emotionally vulnerable, in any significant sense?)

    Bourne has to figure out who he is, while dealing with his enemies, and without really knowing who they are. That does add complexity you don’t find in Bond.

    Like

  49. Doug Geivett says:

    GH (I know who you are), you make great points. My first encounter with Jason Bourne was through Robert Ludlum’s book, The Bourne Identity. I thought the movie, which came out many years after I read the book, did a great job preserving the story line of the novel. I do remember thinking that Matt Damon seemed a little young for the role at the time.

    So Bourne is on his own and has more than one enemy, partly due to bewilderment about his own identity. That makes things interesting. How does Bond’s dependence on his Majesty’s support contribute to the interest of the Bond series? I had thought that, and I’m not sure what you have in mind.

    I also was referring to the Matt Damon Bourne.

    Like

  50. Preference: Jason Bourne. He knows he’s lost and he wants to find his name and his home (Nixon, Missouri, where I hope he ends up one day around the family dinner table). He also cares about women and wants to protect them.

    Unlike Bond, James Bond.

    Like

  51. GH says:

    This is a question that’s been on my mind since I saw the first Bourne movie. Before Daniel Craig took over the Bond character, the answer was easy: Jason Bourne. After Craig’s handling of the character in “Casino Royale,” it’s a toss-up. I’ve seen all the Bourne movies and almost all the Bond movies. Prior to Craig, Bourne’s grit, finesse, and improvisation vaulted him over Bond. But Craig’s Bond is more in the mold of Bourne than the previous Bonds, so now I’m 50-50.

    If there’s one thing that gives Bourne the advantage, it’s that he accomplishes all the things that Bond does without the support of a national spy agency. But then there is also something attractive about what Bond is able to do with that support.

    As for whether I’d like to see another Bond or Bourne movie, at this point I’d have to say Bond. But that’s because in terms of the character’s story, Craig’s Bond is just getting started whereas what I consider to be the natural story arc of Bourne’s character seems to be coming to a close. (Of course, they’ll probably make more Bourne movies, but I’m unsure how connected they’ll be to the previous ones.)

    (I should say that by “Bourne” I mean the character that Matt Damon plays in his movies and neither Richard Chamberlin’s older movie version of Bourne nor the Bourne of the Ludlum books.)

    Like

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